Nvidia introduced the flagship GeForce RTX Super video cards for portable devices and several proprietary technologies that will appear in 2020 gaming laptops.
In contrast to the desktop line of GeForce, in which the Super-versions received five models from the GTX 1650 and higher, in laptops, the business was limited to only two: RTX 2070 Super and RTX 2080 Super. They use the same chips as video cards for desktop PCs, but they have reduced thermal package.
In 2020, two video cards disappeared from the Nvidia line (and its partners): the GeForce RTX 2080 and the GTX 1050. Now the offer starts with the GeForce GTX 1650, and the RTX 2070, RTX 2070 Super and RTX 2080 Super are in the top three positions. There are no official or verified performance tests and will not be until April 15 due to the embargo of manufacturers.
The RTX 2080 Super differs from the reference desktop version in a lower base frequency (1080-1560 MHz versus 1605 MHz). The speed and amount of memory, the number of computing units, CUDA cores and other things have not changed, but TGP decreased from 250 W to 80-150 W.
Performance RTX 2080 Super Max-Q
The spread in frequencies and power consumption of mobile chips is due to the fact that in the final devices they will be presented in two main versions: Max-P for “thick” laptops with efficient cooling and Max-Q optimized for thin and light models.
At the same time, Nvidia itself and independent tests of RTX video cards of the 20th series of generations of video cards previously proved that there is no direct correlation between power consumption and real gaming performance. Depending on the particular game or test, the lag of the “limited” laptop video card from the desktop one can be as much as 24%, or not at all.
Tests and benchmarks of laptops with new video cards will not be until April 15. But here is an example that Nvidia herself cites — a laptop with a GeForce 2080 Super Max-Q produces 167 fps in Control.
The increase in productivity by 228% over three years is explained not only by an increase in the frequencies and number of CUDA cores, several levels of software and hardware optimization come into play here.
The greatest advantage is given by DLSS 2.0. We talked about this technology in detail in a separate article (even before it appeared in Control), but its essence is quite simple: the video card renders the image in the game at a lower resolution, and then the universal algorithm strengthened by the neural network upscales every frame to a higher one, basing about information from the current and previous frames.
The lower the resolution, the higher the frame rate, and the upscaling process takes place on separate tensor kernels. If the algorithm works as it should, DLSS turns into a “free” performance increase of up to 55 frames per second without visible flaws. Below are the results of our tests of DLSS 2.0 with desktop graphics cards.
The first versions of DLSS that appeared in Metro in 2018: Exodus, Battlefield 5 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider work on a different principle and created a noticeable “soap” on the textures. Now this problem has not just been solved – some objects, for example, in Control look even more clear and detailed after the upscale than in the native resolution.
DLSS old version in Control vs DLSS 2.0
Pay attention to the posters.
The only problem with DLSS is that this technology must be manually added to the game, so for now it is present in less than 10 titles. But some Nvidia ways to improve performance per watt work in all games, as they are implemented at the hardware level. However, “in all games” is not equal to “for all users” – the manufacturer must add hardware optimizations to each laptop independently, so there is no unification in this matter.
Hardware performance and power optimization
The Dynamic Boost technology, which will appear in some new laptops, analyzes the load on the system in each specific scenario and dynamically balances the frequencies of the processor and the video card so that they more efficiently use the “thermal budget” provided by the laptop cooling system.
In most devices, two chips use the same heat pipes, so the more the processor heats up, the less overclocking a video card can afford, since the system will not be able to remove excess heat from it.
Dynamic Boost partially solves this situation, reducing processor performance in tasks in which it is more important to overclock a video card, and vice versa. The increase in productivity from such micromanagement is small, but in the conditions of portable systems it will definitely not be superfluous. Nvidia leads tests of laptops with Intel processors, but this technology will work together with AMD.
The graph is beautiful, but in reality the difference in fps in most games is less than 10%
Also in gaming laptops in 2020 promise improved autonomy. Nvidia promises to achieve this with the help of the same DLSS (the lower the rendering resolution, the less the video card consumes energy) and the improved Optimus technology.
Optimus dynamically switches the laptop from a discrete graphics card to a built-in processor to save energy. This is nothing new, but now this technology has ceased to be mutually exclusive with G-Sync (which is why most laptops did not support adaptive frequency change before).
ASUS ROG: two screens and liquid metal
All 2020 ASUS ROG Strix and Zephyrus models with 10th generation Intel processors use the Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut liquid metal as the thermal interface. The manufacturer reports that the metal is applied using proprietary automated technology, and reduces the operating temperature of the processor by 10-20 degrees.
At the moment, two notebooks have been announced in the ASUS ROG lineup with new processors and video cards: the Strix Scar 17 and Zephyrus Duo 15.
ROG Strix Scar 17
The first is a fairly thin gaming laptop with a 17-inch screen in a thin frame. It weighs a little less than 3 kg and is equipped with flagship components: GeForce RTX 2080 Max-P, processor up to Intel Core i9-10980HK, DDR4 memory with a frequency of 3200 MHz and IPS-display with a frequency of 300 Hz.
Matrices with a frequency of 300 Hz appeared in the flagship laptops of 2020 from all manufacturers. Most likely this is the same matrix from AU Optronics. Its response time is 3 ms, Full HD resolution. Until the first tests appear, it makes no sense to discuss the image quality or the appropriateness of such a solution.
In September 2019, a Linus Tech Tips channel released a video with a prototype ASUS ROG laptop with a 300 Hz IPS matrix. The blogger admitted that he does not notice a big difference between the matrices at 240 and 300 Hz
The premium ROG Zephyrus Duo inherits the key idea of the ZenBook Pro Duo – an optional 14-inch touchscreen display located above the keyboard.
Unlike the ZenBook, the game model has a screen resolution of 3840×1100 and is made using IPS technology (ZenBook uses OLED). The screen automatically rises at a slight angle – this provides an additional flow of air into the cooling system. The screen can be used as a second monitor or as a touch panel for controlling a stream, game chat, or professional applications.
ROG Zephyrus Duo received several configurations of the main screen. In addition to gaming Full HD matrix at 300 Hz, you can set a “professional” with a resolution of 4K and color calibration from Pantone.
Zephyrus Duo hardware is similar to Strix Scar 17 – 10th generation Intel Core processor up to Core i9, GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q or 2080 Super Max-Q graphics card, 3200Hz DDR4 memory.
New models will go on sale in the spring of 2020, prices and the exact date of entry into the Russian market will be revealed later.
MSI: Star Wars style design, 99 Wh battery and Mini LED screens
MSI has announced that 13 models from the 2020 GT, GS, GE, GF, GP, GL, and Creator lines will come with Intel’s 10th generation processors. GeForce RTX Super graphics cards will receive updated versions of the 17-inch GT76 Titan, GE75 Raider, GS75 Stealth, as well as two new 15-inch models: GE66 Raider and GS66 Stealth.
All flagships with new graphics (except GE75) will receive new 300 Hz screens, and video cards up to the RTX 2080 Super. GE66, GS66, and GS75 use the Max-Q design, the rest use Max-P.
GE66 Raider and GS66 Stealth are equipped with 99 Wh batteries – this is the maximum battery capacity with which airlines are allowed on passenger flights.
The GS66 will come in a completely black case with no contrasting elements (the GS65 logo, air duct grilles and the edge of the screen were golden). The standard version of GE66 is made of black plastic with dark gray metal panels on the lid and around the keyboard. A limited edition DragonShield will also go on sale, the design for which was developed by the concept artist of Star Wars Kohl Wertz.
The semi-professional Creator line has also been updated. The flagship Creator 17 received a GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q graphics card, a 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor and a 4K display with Mini LED backlight.
The illumination of a conventional IPS-matrix is provided by a pair of dozens of ordinary white LEDs located at the edges, and the Mini LED uses a matrix of thousands of small LEDs mounted under the screen. This approach allows you to independently change the brightness of different parts of the screen for better display of HDR content.
Here is an example of the Creator 17 screen with and without zoning, which MSI demonstrated at a press presentation in Moscow.
The first MSI laptop with RTX 2080 Super in the Russian market will be the 17-inch GT75 Titan. This is a modification of last year’s model with a desktop processor Intel Core i9-9900K with the ability to overclock above 5 GHz. It will go on sale on April 15, the price has not yet been disclosed.
Acer Predator Triton 500
Acer has updated the slim flagship model Triton 500. The laptop weighs 2.1 kg and is equipped with a 10-generation Intel Core i7 processor, a video card up to the GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q and up to 32 GB of DDR4 memory with a frequency of 2666 MHz. Screen refresh rate – 300 Hz.
The manufacturer claims battery life of up to 7.5 hours in working applications and a reduced noise level due to the special shape of the cooler blades.
Acer Predator Triton 500 will reach Russia by June.
Lenovo Legion 7: new design and support for G-Sync
Lenovo has updated the design and device names of its gaming line. 2020 models are called Legion 5i and 7i. And that’s practically all that is known about them – the company will announce its new products with all the details later in April.
The youngest will receive the 10th generation Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors and the GeForce RTX 2060. It will appear in Russian stores in May at a price of 90 thousand rubles.
Legion 7i will also go on sale in May at a price of 150 thousand rubles. On board, he has the RTX 2080 Super Max-Q and the 10th generation Intel processor. Representatives of the company hint at improved autonomy, a cooling system and a screen, but they recommend “wait for announcements.”